Renewables

Green Volt, world’s largest floating wind project, obtains planning approval

green wolt scotland floating wind farm

Photo: Green Volt

Published

April 23, 2024

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Published:

April 23, 2024

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Floating offshore wind project Green Volt has obtained offshore planning approval from the Scottish government. With a planned capacity of 560 MW, it would be the largest in the world.

Flotation Energy and Vårgrønn, a joint venture between oil company Eni’s subsidiary Plenitude and HitecVision, have announced that their floating offshore wind project Green Volt has been granted offshore planning approval.

With onshore consent announced earlier this month, Green Volt has now received all its planning approvals and remains on track to be the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in Europe, the firms said.

Green Volt will be located 75 kilometers off Aberdeenshire, at the site of the decommissioned Ettrick and Blackbird oil fields.

The facility will deliver renewable electricity to oil and gas platforms

The Scottish coast also hosts the Kincardine floating wind farm, with a capacity of 50 MW. It became the largest in the world upon commissioning in August 2021. Hywind Tampen took over the title when Equinor put it into operation in August 2023. The facility, located 140 kilometers from the Norwegian coast, has 88 MW.

Green Volt was a part of Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) leasing round. It is 50% owned by Flotation Energy and 50% by Vårgrønn.

According to the owners, when completed, Green Volt will consist of up to 35 floating wind turbines.

The facility will deliver renewable electricity to oil and gas platforms, replacing existing natural gas and diesel power generation, but also to the grid in the United Kingdom, the firms said.

Humza: Scotland to invest GBP 500 million in the sector

green volt scotland floating offshore wind

First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf said it is the first project from the INTOG leasing round to receive consent.

“We have already underlined our commitment to making Scotland a global leader in offshore wind by committing to invest up to GBP 500 million over five years to catalyze private investment in the infrastructure and manufacturing facilities critical to the growth of the sector,” he noted.

Yousaf said that so far relevant consents and marine licenses have been issued for two floating offshore wind investments, one wave and three tidal energy projects.

“It is fantastic to have received the green light to deliver the world’s biggest floating offshore wind project, right here in the Scottish North Sea,” CEO of Flotation Energy Nicol Stephen asserted.

Green Volt will deploy pioneering technology

According to CEO of Vårgrønn Olav Hetland, at 560 MW, Green Volt serves as an essential stepping stone from current small-scale projects to gigawatt-size developments, supporting the supply chain in scaling up new technology.

“Green Volt will deploy pioneering technology at an unprecedented scale, advancing what is possible in renewable energy,” he stressed.

Of note, a recent report on 19 countries with explicit offshore wind goals for 2030 indicated that only Poland and Ireland were on track to achieve their respective targets of 5.9 GW and 5 GW.

Floating wind power projects and plans are emerging in Southern Europe.

A group of companies have set off on an ambitious endeavor – they are preparing to install a floating hybrid power plant in the Gulf of Taranto consisting of wind turbines of an overall 540 MW and 120 MW of photovoltaics. Some other projects offshore Italy are even bigger than Green Volt.

The long-awaited draft of the offshore wind energy development program in Greece was presented in October.

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